The convergence of fashion and technology is not an idea that is new in a designers world. From Christopher Kane’s recent hologram runway, Mary Katrantzou’s bold geo-graphics and local hero Josh Goot’s digi-floral prints, technology has solidified it’s presence and certified it’s value amongst the fashion elite.
In 2011, David Karp stated that fashion represented 20% of Tumblr content. Today, it’s prowess is crucial. According to Forbes at September of last year, “a presence on multiple social platforms is now considered essential for designers.” An idea that in the age of the Über Blogger and the Tumblr Queen, the new height of fashion cool, an integral part of a designer’s success lies with their ability to engage with their consumers online.
Ari Goldberg, CEO of Stylecaster notes the significance of the booming online audience and tells Forbes “in old media, content is king, but in new media conversation is king.” Indeed, that conversation is one that designers are all too keen to keep flowing, cue Prada’s new talking point: iPad app “Il Pallazzo”.
Inspired by Prada’s 12/13 Fall Winter collection, Il Pallazzo invites us into an exciting and unseen territory of the legendary fashion house and taps into our voyeuristic desires in the process. We are able to wander through the marble ballroom of the lavish palace, glide past the stone archways, and admire the regal furniture before swooning over the framed charcoal artworks and of course, the accessories collection which includes Prada’s Portrait sunglasses and Bloom jewellery range.
More than a glorified catalogue, the multi-platform project was produced in collaboration with illustrator Richard Haines and spot director and producer James Lima. It showcases Haines’ original sketches for the 12/13 F/W menswear collection and acts as a digital accessory to the limited edition book released earlier this year. Like the book, it features pencil drawn images of the collection and also of those sharp suited menswear heavyweights, Gary Oldman, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody and Jamie Bell.
Prada does what all great fashion houses do for their audience: they offer a world of engagement. What Il Pallazo has done is add a new dimension not only to the nature of fashion marketing but to the creation of fashion itself. Rather than acting as another form of consumer/brand engagement, Il Pallazo offers total and utter immersion into Prada’s private world.
In an interview with Dazed Digital, Haines tells of the magic of working with the house in a sentiment that quite possibly adds even more grandeur to digital showroom. He says “the process kept evolving – I’d hear, in the most charming accent, ‘Richard, please trust us in our process’. I did…”
The Il Palazzo iPad app is available now on iTunes.
Images courtesy of Dazed Digital